The best thing about being a school teacher here in Oklahoma is that we get a portion of the year off. It goes without saying that most teachers like myself will use that time for travel.
I am no different, although my story and my passions are intertwined because I actually teach music. 2018 was full of great travel including trips to Los Angeles, Eureka Springs, Durango and of course, all over Oklahoma.
On my travels this year, I decided to take along some instruments just to see how much I would actually play and also what inspiration I could find on the road and in the air. It turns out that this decision was one of the best I've made in my musical career! The change of scenery does wonders for your soul, as well as your mind and musical applications.
I found myself inspired by views of mountains, rivers, oceans (the Pacific to be exact) and even on the highway. When I was near water, I would find myself in a more mellow state with no stress or thoughts about life back home, therefore I would come up with the most amazing chords to link together on my guitar. I didn't once want to play a cover song or anything that I had played before. No, this was a unique state of mind and all energy flowed through into my fingers as I played.
When I was on the highway, it was more of a country music, folk, red dirt kind of vibe that I was feeling. Some people would think that the highway would conjure up vibes or sounds of maybe heavy rock, but I was into the "on the road again" mindset. I actually came up with some riffs that are currently being incorporated into a new mix from one of my bands, Falling Rocks. See, it's amazing and I highly recommend it.
All I can say is that the next time you travel, even if you're not necessarily a musician or musically gifted, grab some sort of instrument from a gift shop or some other place, and see what kind of mood you are forced into when you are in a new place, with new scenery and a fresh mind. Tell me later how it worked for you.